Moving towards a Digital Supply Chain
Being able to compete with innovative products and services, optimise inventory levels, reduce operational costs and match supply with customer demand is no easy feat. Effective supply chain management has, therefore, never been so critical. Companies in every industry struggle to stay competitive amidst increasing complexities within the supply chain.
A merge of challenges
Supply chain professionals are constantly confronted by some of these internal and external challenges:
Globalisation : As companies look to outsource their operations and lower costs, they struggle with the progressively complex supply chain organisation. Abiding by various local regulations, worldwide trade agreements and international standards for product quality control and safety tests also pose difficulties for them.
Increasing competition : With the fast-changing market demands, pressures on price, quality, availability and service levels, customers tend to be more volatile helped by an easier access to the product through different and new channels. Companies strive to create and maintain an agile supply chain that can respond to spikes and dips according to the demand and product needs.
New technologies : Given the rise in omnichannel retail and e-commerce, demand for innovation and new products intensifies. Companies, especially emerging companies, face difficulties in gaining market share and to innovate continuously to come up with new products.
A necessary switch to digital
As a result of these complexities, supply chain professionals are unable to practice agility and respond quickly to changes. Businesses strive to maintain visibility over their logistics flows to ensure availability and timely delivery of their products to their customers. This makes it more challenging for them to access information timely to be able to collaborate effectively and assess situations to make quick decisions.
This is probably why many people are turning towards big data, predictive analytics, IoT, blockchain and other new technologies to be capable of thinking, acting and securing faster. For this reason, digital should be seen as a powerful lever and a huge potential opportunity for companies to transform and innovate.
Existing supply chain solutions make it easier for companies to make use of best practices to share information, connect with different stakeholders, manage and calculate a big amount of data so as to make better informed decisions. Eventually, it will help them become more efficient and capable of overcoming the said challenges to rise above others who are navigating in the sea of excel.
Considering the potential savings, cost optimisations and increase in sales, the switch to digital has to be embraced as these new technologies are crucial in allowing supply chain efficiency and visibility, which are ultimately potential sources of growth and profit for the companies.